Jonathan Kaplan


Director

About

Birth Place
Paris, FR
Born
November 25, 1947

Biography

The son of blacklisted composer Sol Kaplan and an early protege of Roger Corman, Kaplan directed several competent exploitation films in the 1970s before graduating to somewhat more character-driven features in the 80s. Some of his most notable works of include the "troubled teens" movie, "Over the Edge" (1979), and the racing car saga, "Heart Like a Wheel" (1983), which boasted a fine p...

Family & Companions

Julie Selzer
Wife
Casting director.

Biography

The son of blacklisted composer Sol Kaplan and an early protege of Roger Corman, Kaplan directed several competent exploitation films in the 1970s before graduating to somewhat more character-driven features in the 80s. Some of his most notable works of include the "troubled teens" movie, "Over the Edge" (1979), and the racing car saga, "Heart Like a Wheel" (1983), which boasted a fine performance by Bonnie Bedelia.

Kaplan achieved his greatest box-office triumph with "The Accused" (1988), depicting a working class woman, Sarah Tobias (played by Jodie Foster) who has been gang raped and demands full retribution from her attackers. The film was controversial, due in part to the inclusion of an explicit rape scene. His next project, "Immediate Family" (1989), expounded on the TV movie-of-the-week genre, featuring James Woods and Glenn Close as a wealthy couple who adopt a poor young couple's infant.

Kaplan went on to garner critical praise (though the film bombed financially) for "Love Field" (1992), a low-concept drama involving an interaction between a black man and a white woman on the day JFK was shot. In the same year, he directed the modestly commercially successful "Unlawful Entry," starring Madeleine Stowe and Ray Liotta, a taut psychological thriller that collapses into its own genre conventions. Like "The Accused," it somewhat dubiously preyed on fears of rape. The director followed up with the high-profile female Western "Bad Girls" (1994), which managed to cement Hollywood's notion of Kaplan being a "women's director." Originally slated as an independent feminist film to be directed by Tamra Davis, the film had its budget and its babes-on-broncos quality amplified considerably when Kaplan came on board.

Although Kaplan has evolved from his early slash-and-burn B-movie days to become a talented Hollywood hired gun, some have argued that his Corman-influenced pictures were his most distinctive, in particular one of his earliest efforts, "The Student Teachers" (1973).

Life Events

1973

Film directorial debut, "The Slams"

1975

Debut as screenwriter (also directed), "White Line Fever"

1976

Feature acting debut, "Hollywood Boulevard"

Family

Sol Kaplan
Father
Composer. Blacklisted 1954; died November 14, 1990.
Frances Heflin
Mother
Actor.
Van Heflin
Uncle
Actor. Popular star of the 1940s and 50s; won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Johnny Eager" (1941).
Nora Heflin
Sister
Actor.
Maddy Kaplan
Sister
Actor.
Molly Kaplan
Daughter
Born c. 1992; mother, Julie Selzer.

Companions

Julie Selzer
Wife
Casting director.

Bibliography